Some alternative energy work that got us excited...
Recently helped a friend install 10 units on his home. These are
relatively new technology, they generate electricity and, if correctly formatted, can be a passive means of income.
The energy output of this system is 1.8 kwh which makes them power nuetral, the key was to have solar hot water heating and gas boost back up as over half their energy usage was in water heating. Most homes fit this scenario.
The ladies who own this peaceful luxury retreat wanted to make the most of their thermal hot water.
A brushless motor pump that had been imported from the USA provides 5000 liters of 40 degree celsius water per hour. This pump motor is the latest technology and is ofthe highest efficiency, managing to do all this work and only pulls 15 amps.
Basically the challange was to use as much energy as possible from a hot water bore. So we preheated water to 2 hd 200 infinity units that suplied a buffer tank providing hot water to 7 luxury lodge units, through one heat exchanger.
The second heat exchanger provided the energy to the hydronic heating system keeping these luxery lodge units nice and toasty during winter.
The energy depleted water then suplies multiple out door baths and keeps a huge outdoor pool hovering at 35 degree celsius. It then provides irrigation in this amazing resort, as means for disposal.
My Own Home
Just out of interest for people contemplating a change to solar consider my own personal installation details at home, before conversion running on straight electric everything (hot water heating , cooking space heating) just like most of New Zealand. We averaged $220 in power costs in summer to $270 in winter.
I then installed a high efficiency 48 evacuated tube solar system from steelfort engineering, changed the small 160 dux mains pressure HWC tank for a 300 liter stainless HWC made by coopers which has no electrical connection to it heated purely by solar, then fitted a rheems high efficiency gas calafont for water temperature top up during winter monthes (if water heated by solar only reaches say 50 degrees the calafont only uses gas to heat up to the remaining temperature required to give maximum conveniance).Since i had a lpg bottle installation now for the calafont added a gas hob or cook top as lpg still cheaper and quicker to use than electric, after all this added a small wood burner for home heating that i burn wood offcuts from the building sites I frequent.
Now three people shower twice a day ( 1 is a teenager !) we have faster cooking (and a wok burner) a nice ambience at home during winter monthes due to the wood burner, and have a steady power bill of $80 a month and a gas bottle that costs $95 every 5 monthes to refill which added together is a anual energy cost of $1197 inc gst less than a $100 per month for three adults.